Interserve has started work on a £41.4 million contract to build three new schools for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), which will be split across three sites in north, east and south Leeds.
Leeds City Council is funding the scheme, which will provide world-class specialist learning environments for pupils between the ages of 11 and 16 who are unable to attend mainstream schools.
The new Springwell Special Academy Leeds facilities will include specialist teaching areas, sensory rooms, outside learning areas and sports pitches, as well as multi-use games areas.
The schools will be run by the Wellspring Academy Trust, a multi-academy trust and approved DfE Academy sponsor, that is focused on improving life chances for pupils and communities in the Yorkshire and Humber region. An expert in the education of young people with SEMH needs, the Wellspring Academy Trust is the only SEMH provider in the North of England to be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
The development of the scheme has been led by Leeds City Council who worked collaboratively over the past year with Wellspring Academy Trust, Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP) and Interserve, to ensure the unique requirements of Wellspring’s SEMH delivery model and the SEMH pupils are met.
Gordon Kew, Managing Director at Interserve, said: “The new schools represent a major investment by Leeds City Council into the future of young people in Leeds. It also marks a continuation of our relationship with the Council and the Leeds Education Partnership, which has successfully delivered numerous education projects in and around the city. We have a strong history of working with the education sector, having completed over 200 schemes during the last 15 years.”
The project completion is expected for August 2018, with the three sites ready in time for the 2018 academic year.